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New rules for hazardous substances and wastes

New requirements came into effect from 1 June 2019. Here’s what you need to do.

What: New rules for the safe handling and storage of toxic and corrosive chemicals, under the Health and Safety at Work Act. These changes apply to about 150,000 New Zealand businesses like factories, printers, agricultural businesses, collision repairers and food processing plants.

When: 1 June 2019

Why: To help protect the health of workers from exposure to chemicals and hazardous wastes.

What you need to do: Those who use, handle and/or store hazardous substances must:

  • set up specific storage locations for hazardous substances that are over the quantity threshold
  • get the storage site inspected and certified by a WorkSafe New Zealand-authorised compliance certifier
  • tell WorkSafe about these locations – use the WorkSafe notification form.

Notification form for hazardous substance location (external link) — WorkSafe

Those who use, handle and/or store hazardous wastes created by an industrial or manufacturing process must comply with the Hazardous Substance Regulations, including:

  • labelling all hazardous wastes in line with new requirements
  • listing all hazardous wastes on an inventory.

WorkSafe has a calculator you can use to create an inventory and work out what key requirements you need to meet, based on the hazardous substances you have at your workplace.

Hazardous substances calculator (external link) — WorkSafe

Learn more about the changes by visiting the WorkSafe website. They have guidance about the new rules as well as a practical guide for working safely with hazardous substances.

Hazardous substances (external link) — WorkSafe

Working safely with hazardous substances practical guide [PDF, 2.3MB] (external link) — WorkSafe

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